Friday, August 19, 2016



Against a background of political intrigue and Tudor violence, love is not easy to find or sustain. The Queen Dowager of Scotland repudiates it and for Matho and Meg the struggle is made more difficult by an outbreak of war between England and Scotland. Disaster looms for them all.....

I'm not holding back here, I loved this story and Ms Black's characters were so real, it was like talking to friends and I missed them when I reached the end. Matho is brave, resourceful and though not born a gentleman he certainly behaves like one. The real life character of Margaret Douglas is drawn as a feisty, adventurous woman with a sharp tongue and a tinge of wickedness. I like to think this was exactly what Meg was like, as she had the courage to defy Uncle King Henry VIII and not be cowed by a father who regarded her as no more than a means to further his own ambitions.


I especially loved the portrayal of Mary of Guise, a wise, resourceful woman left alone to rule a country where the vultures constantly gather to take her throne and probably her life. Mary is determined to preserve the country for her infant daughter, who went on to become Mary, Queen of Scots, but she needs all her powers of diplomacy and cunning to stay Queen. I really felt for her.

Against his better judgement, Matho is persuaded to act as Mary's spy, taking messages between Stirling Castle, London and France to her French relatives, but he has to keep clear of not only the machinations of Henry VIII's information network, but his invading army too. Then there is Matthew, Earl of Lennox, who doesn't trust Matho an inch and is hoping to win over Meg's Uncle Henry so he might marry her. But is the price he is expected to pay too much?

A beautifully written novel of Tudor England and Scotland with the atmosphere perfectly portrayed. I would say I cannot wait for the next one, but I have read that too, and it didn't disappoint.

Anita Davison author of ‘Flora Maguire Cosy Mystery Series’


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